Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has praised midfield enforcer Lee Cattermole and claimed his determination can keep them up.
Cattermole lost his place to Jack Rodwell last month but returned to the side for the last four games and that has coincided with the team’s return to form.
Allardyce has put the upsurge down to the driving force of Cattermole in the team’s engine room and he is hoping his good run of form will continue.
“Having that driving force in midfield is very important in the engine room,” Allardyce said. “Jack’s technical ability in many ways is as good as anybody we’ve got. But Lee’s grit, desire, drive and determination can lead the team and make them feel good.
“We can rely on him to break up the opposition’s attacks, close their danger men down and use it well.
“Alongside [Jan] Kirchhoff, who intercepts more balls than anyone we’ve ever had, that’s a key factor why defending has become a bit easier for us.”